02/21/14

Small Screen Crossovers

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I have a weakness for teen-centric TV. While My So-Called Life (which I surprisingly could’t get into) is sort of credited as the holy grail of high school dramas – or at very least the genre’s trailblazer – I believe the greatest shows have two things in common: Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage.

It’s cool if the names don’t ring any bells. You’ve almost certainly been exposed to this team’s cultural influence, though – they’re behind both The OC and Gossip Girl, which are two of my all-time favorite shows. If you haven’t watched them, please do it. Set aside a few days to binge watch, order some pizza and treat yourself to DVDs of The OC (it’s the better show of the two, IMHO.)

You can imagine how excited I was when I heard that the best character from GG recently married the best character from The OC. Okay, so it was actually a union between the actors who played these characters – namely Leighton Meester (aka Blair Waldorf) and Adam Brody (best known for playing Seth Cohen.) The parallels between the actors and the characters they made famous are inevitable but the funny thing is, Blair and Seth would have made one strange couple. She was an icy Upper East Side princess – a mean girl so fabulous, Regina George would have cowered in fear had she ever encountered Blair Waldord. He was a West Coast outcast (though to be fair, Seth always seemed like an East Coaster at heart, and had he lived on that coast, he would have probably reached the heartthrob status that viewers gave him in the context of the show as well.)

This of course got me thinking – what are some other small screen romantic pairing that would have been perfect if TV worlds could collide? I came up with a few ideas for the Gossip Girl cast (it would have been senseless to do this with The OC’s main characters because there were only four of them and one of them is dunzo.)

Chuck Bass should be with Elena Gilbert (The Vampire Diaries): While Chair (that’s Chuck and Blair) had one of the most epic romances of small screen history (slight exaggeration? Not according to the show’s fans), they also had one of the most dramatic. Case in point: He tried to pawn her off to his uncle for a night so he could save his hotel. (Note: This likely won’t make any sense at all unless you watched the show.) The issue there wasn’t about the fact that these two kids had way too much money and not enough parental supervision. It’s about the total lack of balance in their relationship. Both characters were stubborn and diabolical and strong-willed, which is probably why “Blair” left Chuck for Seth Cohen in the alternate universe Leighton and Adam opened up when they got together. Chuck needed to be with someone spineless. Enter Elena, the damsel in distress caught between two undead brothers on another CW show. Elena would probably the relish the chance to leave her supernatural world for Chuck’s but she should know that the Upper East Side is every bit as treacherous as her  vampire-infested town.

Jenny Humphrey should be with Emily Fields (Pretty Little Liars): Little J went through a whole slew of issues during the show’s run. Who knew that all she needed to straighten her out (no pun intended) was the right woman? The insanely beautiful Shay Mitchel plays a lesbian with a taste for wild children on Pretty Little Liars. She’s exactly the sort of sweet, mellow personality that would balance out Jenny’s river-wide rebellious streak. In a world that is big enough to engulf both Pretty Little Liars and Gossip Girl, Little J is actually PLL’s still-anonymous villain “Uber A.” She tortures Em and her friends until she falls for her and switches teams (again, no pun intended.) Turns out Jenny Humphrey was exactly what the little liars needed to defeat the A team for good.

Vanessa Abrams should be with Dawson Leery (Dawson’s Creek): Because they were both sort of unlikeable. Think about it: They could build a solid relationship based on a shared passion for film. Also they have that whole I-think-my-best-friend-is-my-soulmate-even-though-he/she-is-in-love-with-someone-else thing in common. (Refresher: BFFs Vanessa and Dan almost had it all before he fell for Serena van der Woodsen. They dated briefly but really, no one was buying it. Dawson formed one point of TV’s most intense and long-running love triangle. The other two involved, Pacey and Joey, ended up together.)

Nate Archibald should be with Quinn Fabray (Glee): Did you ever notice how both Nate and Quinn dated their way through the characters on their respective shows without ever settling down with anyone? They’re both highly desirable but emotionally closed off in relationships. This is one pairing that doesn’t just exist in my imagination: Chace Crawford, the actor who played Nate, is set to appear on an upcoming Glee episode as Quinn’s college boyfriend. Take note, the Quinn/Nate pairing would be a strategic step for both parties, (most likely arranged by Nate’s meddling grandfather, who put Quinn on Nate’s radar so she lure him to attend Yale) and an entirely loveless relationship. In fact, Nate will never even know about Quinn’s baby, Beth. They’d have no real connection but it would work because they have everything in common. And damn, they’re pretty.

Dan Humphrey should be with Annie Wilson (90210): I never really despised Dan Humphrey but most GG viewers totally did. Who I actually did despise? Annie Wilson on 90210. She was whiny, irritating and holier-than-thou. Dan and Annie had very similar functions on their respective shows. Both were meant to be the relatable characters with relatable lives who found themselves thrust into spectacular worlds. They were the kids who shopped at the mall while their peers shimmied into Alaïa  gowns. They provided a lens for audiences to take in worlds of excess without being completely thrown off guard. These two met while promoting their blogs-turned-books – he wrote a scathing expose that threw all his friends under the bus, she penned a tell-all about her life as an escort. They fell in love, got married, and now co-author an anonymous gossip column. It’s a good thing they found each other, too – both are estranged from all their friends.

Serena van der Woodsen should be with Mr. Big (Sex and the City): Yup, you read that right. Age difference aside, this is a match made in TV heaven because she’s the worst and so is he. When Mr. Big discovered a single gray hair on Carrie’s head, he was all ‘this is weird, I’m out.” He found Serena passed out on in the backseat of a limo after a three-week bender soon after. Serena, who was once aptly dubbed a ‘golden shell,’ will always be a hot mess and Big is okay with that – as long as she stays young and attractive until he dies.




02/18/14

Five Simple Tips To Revamp Your Wardrobe

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“When a woman says ‘I have nothing to wear,’ what she really means is, ‘There’s nothing here for who I’m supposed to be today.’”

                                                                                                                                      -Caitlin Moran.

We’ve all been there, right? I know there have been many, many nights when nothing in my closet seemed right for the occasion. When that feeling that Caitlin Moran so perfectly described hits, you usually end up throwing on some sort of go-to outfit and never feel great about what you’re wearing.

I’ve realized one thing: A simple closet edit can prevent this, at least to some extent. I spend a good chunk of my time editing written copy, which means I know a thing or two about getting rid of things that don’t belong. I do this well in my professional life, but ihere are a few areas in my personal life (/apartment) that could benefit from a good edit. The first one is my snack cabinet. The second? My closet.

I plan on doing a good old fashioned spring clean within the next few months and my wardrobe will definitely be in for a major overhaul when I get around to this.  I already have a few tips to keep in mind and figured I’d share them here.

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02/16/14

The Bold Lip, Perfected

Screen Shot 2014-02-11 at 12.23.35 PMA few weeks ago my mom and I were shopping at Sephora when I smeared a liberal coat of Bite Beauty’s new matte formula over my lips. I chose ‘Satsuma,” a glaringly bright fuchsia from the lineup of six neon shades. My mom took one look at me, cringed, and said I looked “ridiculous” and should “take it off right away.”

Naturally, I went back a few days later and bought the lipstick. I added another offensively bright shade (Clementine, an orange-red) from the line to my cart for good measure.

I’ve come a long way in the past few years – at least when it comes to bright lipstick, or any lipstick at all, really. I used to be a naysayer; my full lips just seemed clownish with any kind of color on them, so I limited my makeup game to eyeliner. About two and a half years ago I decided to give lipstick a whirl. Now I love  a good bold lip – I think of it as part of my outfit rather than a step in my beauty routine. I stick to matte formulas – to minize the lip plumping – and bright colors – to really make an impact.

These Bite Beauty crayons are so up my alley because they’re  shine-free and really, really vibrant. They’re also fairly moisturizing (a tough find when you’re going matte) and food-grade quality (yes, really.) They have a nice citrusy smell to them, meaning they’re pretty much organic Lip Smackers for adults.

I can’t say enough good things about these crayons. I’ve literally been trying to build outfits around them for the past week – keeping the clothes simple so a crazy-bright lip  doesn’t seem like overkill. They feel great, they’re pretty long-lasting and they are so outrageously pigmented. I would say that you can’t go wrong with any of Bite Beauty’s lipsticks – I’ve been eyeing a baby pink shade called “Boutique” from their main collection – but this new matte formula is above and beyond. It’s available in six colors and is a limited-time offering. In short, get yourself to your nearest Sephora ASAP and pick up one (or four) of these. You might see me there because I’m not sure if I can resist the other four shades in this lineup.




02/10/14

Valentine’s Day Style Guide, Grown Up Edition

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Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, which means you’re probably busy picking out your best red skirt – you know, the one that looks good(ish) with your pink top. Maybe you’re even out shopping for a new pair of red shoes to round out the ensemble. And you’re definitely selecting a red-and-pink-striped hair bow for the occasion.

…If you’re in fourth grade.

I have nothing against people who wear red and/or pink on V-day. I’m obviously a fan of playing dress up…and I may or may not have given my friends Disney Princess cards well into my teen years. But I’m also a grown up now, or so I tell myself…and  wearing a frilly little red-and-pink number just seems a little juvenile, even though that kind of thing is perfectly acceptable in light of the holiday.

I’m not saying I’ll wear all black everything on Friday – although, let’s be real. It’s me; I probably will.  I actually have a pink dress that may make its way out of hiding for the holiday. But here’s where my head is regarding holiday-themed dressing: If you’re going to do it, do it creatively. Take, for example, the People Magazine Style Council, Valentine’s Day edition. While most of the celebrities who weighed in about V-day style mentioned the usual suspects (red dresses, red lips, red shoes, blah blah blah), the answers that stood out me came from Kourtney Kardashian and Jamie Chung. Neither woman is totally eschewing the Valentine’s Day style profile – Kourtney incorporated some red into her outfit last year and Jamie is going to go for a romantic hair style – but they’re also both mentioning edgier items like leather jackets. The moral of the story? A leather jacket is always a good idea. The other moral of the story? Mix it up a bit this V-day.

Toe the line by adding a subtle hit of red/pink to your outfit. Whether you want to keep it under wraps by wearing some festive lingerie or be a little more up front about it and go for a red and pink mixed mani, you just may find some inspiration above. My favorite way to do it? With a good lipstick. Treat yourself to a tube of Tarte Lipsurgence in ‘Fiery’ if you’re feeling red or ‘Charmed‘ if you prefer pink. They’re some of the most moisturizing colors out there – perfect for this awful weather. Even the names of these colors feel Valentine’s Day appropriate – though not overly so – which is exactly how I like it.




02/7/14

My Target x Peter Pilotto Wish List

Screen Shot 2014-02-06 at 9.46.48 PMCollaborations are a touchy subject in the fashion world. There are obviously a lot of reasons to be excited about them. For one thing, they make goods from the likes of Isabel Marant and Derek Lam accessible to people who don’t want to drop hundreds on a single item. For another, they make people who ordinarily don’t care about the  fashion industry a little bit more aware of its major players.

But naysayers think these collaborations are blurring the lines between high end and high street. I won’t disagree with this point – after all, the fashion industry and the garment industry are two different things, and while I certainly own and wear items from the likes of H&M and Forever 21, I don’t think of the things these stores sell as ‘fashion.’ They’re just clothes – fashion, on the other hand, is art.

I can understand why high fashion enthusiasts would fight against these collabs. But the important thing to note is, if you’re buying a piece from, say, Phillip Lim’s Target collection, you’re not buying  Phillip Lim. You’re buying something that blends the designer’s aesthetic with Target-level fabric and quality.

With that being said, if I’m drawn to a piece from one of these collaborations, I’ll buy it. I think they can be really wonderful – they challenge designers to create for an entirely different demographic, and the results of this can be incredibly interesting. And regardless of whether or not the pieces can stand up to true designer duds in terms of quality and craftsmanship, it’s definitely an exciting feeling when you know that Prabal Gurang had something to do with the creation of your shoes.

But enough of that. Let’s discuss the collaboration that launches this weekend when Peter Pilotto and Target release a line that looks…pretty great. Obviously these collabs can be a little lackluster. Some photograph beautifully but look less than impressive in person and I’m hoping this one isn’t one of them. I’ve already added a few items to my wish list (and if they’re not available in stores, there’s a chance I can get them on Net-a-Porter!) Let’s take a look at the pieces I love and how I’d wear them.

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02/4/14

Slip Into Something More Comfortable

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Sometimes I’m really not even sure why I chose to move to Chicago. I’ve been here for just over two years and was choosing between several other cities – including LA and Palo Alto. Chicago ultimately won out for several reasons: Proximity to my family, the strength of the grad program I attended, all the wonderful things everyone says about the city, to name a few.

The weather, however, was not on that list. It’s undeniably the worst thing about living in Chicago and this year has been especially rough (that’s not exactly news to anyone who lives in or around Chicago.)

But there’s one very minor thing about winter that I actually enjoy: that feeling you get when you come home from a long day out of your apartment (long day, trip to the grocery store, same thing) and throw on your sweats, heated booties and a thick blanket. Getting home and getting comfy is pretty much the highlight of most days this season, thanks in large part to a few cozy little finds I’m sharing today. Almost all these items are from brands I don’t love (and aren’t ‘fashionable’ by any means) but when you find something you love, who cares what the label reads?

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02/3/14

Calling All Manolo Lovers

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While I haven’t quite figured out how to score a pair of Manolo Blahnik stilletos sans the $900 price tag, I can clue you in to some pretty exciting Blahnik news.

The shoe legend will appear in Chicago this week and you’re invited to help welcome him to the Windy City. He’ll be at Barney’s on Oak Street from 5 pm to 7 pm on February 7.

In addition to shopping Blahnik’s more iconic shoes, (those jewel-encrusted pumps worn by one Carrie Bradshaw are certainly up there with Dorothy’s ruby slippers) you’ll also get a first look at the XO capsule collection he created exclusively for Barney’s. I got a glimpse at the collection and I can assure you that it doesn’t disappoint. It’s packed with classic, luxurious pairs that are exactly what you’d expect from a Blahnik (spoiler alert: Pointy toes play a huge role.) A little teaser appears above.

If you’re willing to drop some dough on a pair of shoes – which, let’s be honest, just might be worth a few weeks of eating a Ramen – you’ll even get them signed by the man himself. Carrie Bradshaw, eat your heart out. Interested in this event? RSVP ASAP to shoeicon@barneys.com!